"I've seen so many people, they're forced through lots of reasons - sometimes including family - to go down a path that they don't want to go down, to go down a path that leads then to something that they don't love, that they don't enjoy", Trump said. Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe also interviewed for the permanent post despite his repeated willingness to break from White House explanations of Comey's ouster and its characterizations of the Russian Federation investigation.
Trump told graduates that "Nothing worth doing ever, ever, ever came easy".
Press Secretary Sean Spicer was given several opportunities Friday to deny that President Trump is secretly recording conversations that occur in the White House.
Before Trump's speech, Falwell in his address commented that Trump's presidency has benefited the Christian community in the US and presented the president with an honorary Doctorate of Law degree. "Never, ever give up", Trump said. "I can promise you that".
For his first commencement speech as president, Donald Trump returned Saturday to an Evangelical Christian university where his bid for president elicited mixed reactions from students during the 2016 election.
Trump, who took office on January 20, also sounded familiar campaign themes about a broken system in Washington.
Trump also lashed out at his critics and criticized how "broken" the system is in Washington, D.C. "In other words your parents", Trump told the graduates. "Because in America, we don't worship government, we worship God", he continued.
At the commencement ceremony, the Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, presented Trump with an honorary Doctorate of Laws.
Trump has stayed largely out of public view since Tuesday. He also praised Trump for protecting religious liberty, as demonstrated by the president's executive order on religion and his nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.
"When the pilgrims landed at Plymouth, they prayed", said Trump. Yet, the order did not address one of the most pressing demands from religious conservatives: broad exemptions from recognizing same-sex marriage.
Critics have assailed Trump for abruptly dismissing Comey, who was leading the agency's investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election, and possible ties between Moscow and the Trump presidential campaign.
Falwell became a key surrogate and validator for the thrice-married Trump during the campaign, frequently traveling with Trump on the candidate's plane and appearing at events.
But while a segment of Liberty University may have opposed both Trump and Falwell's endorsement of him, others claimed the majority of the school supported Republican nominee.
A Baptist school, Liberty University has an anti-LGBT reputation. The clumsy wording seemed to betray a lack of familiarity with what is more commonly referred to as the apostle Paul's "second" letter to the church in Corinth.
"America has always been the land of dreams because America is a nation of true believers", he said. "I don't have to be politically correct".